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Piccalilli Canning Green Tomato Relish

Piccalilli Canning Green Tomato Relish is preserving the abundance of your garden when the season is done,  with our family’s traditional green tomato relish named piccalilli. 

This delightful green tomato relish that will capture your heart and become a cherished annual tradition. This recipe ingeniously combines the abundance of garden produce you’re unsure how to utilize, resulting in a relish so delightful, you’ll be eagerly anticipating its creation year after year.

From those surplus green tomatoes to the miscellaneous veggies, this relish is a delicious solution to make the most of your garden’s diverse offerings, ensuring nothing goes to waste. You will be transforming garden surplus into a beloved relish you’ll savor with every bite.

Why not make this savory relish that is used as a condiment for all your holiday meat dishes. This traditional unripe green tomato recipe comes from Jim’s mother’s family, the Ross family.  Piccalilli traces back to New England in the late 1800s.

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Find all my top 5 canning recipes here: 5 Basic Garden Canning Recipes.

PICCALILLI CANNING GREEN TOMATOES in mason jar with 2 green tomatoes

The Buonpane Family Tradition for Piccalilli: Green Tomato Relish

My husband Jim grew up with his mother, Grace, making they recipe every summer. Grace’s original recipe does not call for the water bath, however, to be on the safe side Jim and I water bath any canning recipe.  Pint Jars are the best option, just the right size. You do not need to even can this recipe. It tastes great right when you make it and will last in the refrigerator for at least 3 weeks if it is not all eaten before that.

You can also make the relish and put it in freezer plastic containers and freeze it for the holiday season. Piccalilli, or green tomato relish is delicious and a special treat for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. The winter holiday is when mother-in-law served her jars of this delicious relish. You get that fresh garden taste in the dark winter.  The green tomato relish was a treat everyone looked forward to each holiday.

Grace would make this recipe at the end of the garden season and would keep the jars in the root cellar and serve the condiment for Sunday dinner and especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


My mother’s sister Lois was the expert in canning on my side of the family. I loved all the preserved relishes my Aunt Lois preserved. When I was introduced to this wonderful full flavored relish I knew we had to make this with our green tomatoes at the end of the season.

If you do not have a garden, all of the ingredients can be found at your local farmers’ market or grocery store. The recipe does take a day to sit so start the recipe when you will be home for a few days.

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How to Make Green Tomato Relish

  • Make sure you have all of the ingredients at hand and ready to go. You can also substitute or leave out any of the ingredients, just make sure you have the green tomatoes.
  • In a food processor or a grinder unit for your mixer, grind the green tomatoes, onion, peppers, celery, and cabbage.
  • Layer all of the vegetables that you grind in an extra-large bowl and salt in between layers.
  • Cover your bowl and let sit overnight.
  • In the morning drain off the liquid that the vegetable release and rise the vegetable in cold water in a small hole colander.
  • Mix the vegetable with all the remaining ingredients and cook on the stove at a medium boil for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Make sure that you sterilize the lids and rims of your jars in the dishwasher to make sure all germs are removed.
  • Try to not handle the jars and lids and rims with your hands but with tongs.
  • When you have cooked the mixture, ladle it into canning jars and seal with the proper canning lids and rims.
  • You can also put the jars when cooled into the refrigerator to eat right away or put them in freezer jars and freeze.
  • If you are going to can the mixture, water bath the sealed jars for 30 minutes.
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green tomato piccalilli in a mason jar with a green tomato on a white wood table

Piccalilli Canned Green Tomatoes

  • Author: Grace Buonpane
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 24 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 3/4 peck Green Tomatoes
  • 6 Sweet Green Peppers
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 3 Stalks Celery
  • 10 Large Onions
  • 1 Medium Cabbage
  • 1/4 cup Mustard seed
  • 2 TLB Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 TLB Whole Cloves
  • 2 cups Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Salt
  • 6 cups of Cider Vinegar


  1. Grind the first six ingredients separately and put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt through layers.
  2. Let stand overnight and in the morning train thoroughly, rinse in cold water.
  3. Put the ground vegetables in the preserving kettle with spices and vinegar and cook for about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. When done cooking ladle in clean jars and seal.
  5. Water bath (boil) for 30 minutes in a large canning kettle with a wire rack filled over the top of the jars with water.


  • Make sure that you wash the jars in the dishwasher to sterilize.
  • Boil for 5 minutes in the water on the stove the lids & rims.
  • The recipe makes about 6 half pint jars. A serving would be about 4 tablespoons. 

Keywords: Canning Green Tomatoes

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If you like this post on canning you may want to read:

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Refrigerator Dill Pickle Recipe

Canning Garden Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

Canning Italian Hot Peppers

Canning Easy Corn Relish

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Canning Green Tomatoes Piccalilli

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  1. How much does this make? What size jars and how many?ok I fully read again! 8 pints!! Ty going to make tomorrow!! Will comment then!!

    1. Let me know if you need help. It just depends on how many green tomatoes you have. It is hard to judge as you can adjust the ingredients as you like. But if you need help just email me. It is Called clean out the garden. Lol

  2. I have never had anything like this -but looking at the ingredients, I know I would like it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Thanks for linking up at the #HomeMattersParty. Hope to see you at this week’s party, the door is open Friday at midnight EST.

  3. I’ve never tried green tomato relish, I usually use all my green tomatoes to make a salsa verde to can. Maybe I’ll have to try this one too! Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase party.

  4. Interesting coincidence my husband was just talking about pickled green tomatoes his mom used to can that they ate with grilled cheese sandwiches. Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up. Please come back and join us again! Remember to leave your host a comment to increase the chance of being featured.

    1. Thank you so much for your Link-up. My husband and I went out last night and picked all our green tomatoes, I will tell him you husband’s mom use to pickle them also. There are not too many families that still make these special treats. I will leave a comment, thank you for reminding me.

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